Local 2525 not impresed with premier

Justin Dickie
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Health care workers here are not impressed with Premier Rodney MacDonalds plan to strip them of the right to strike.

"I can tell you that I dont agree with it," said Linda Moore, first vice president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 2525. "We certainly are hoping that our union is going to go along with all the other unions and try and boycott this."

Health care workers here are not impressed with Premier Rodney MacDonalds plan to strip them of the right to strike.

"I can tell you that I dont agree with it," said Linda Moore, first vice president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 2525. "We certainly are hoping that our union is going to go along with all the other unions and try and boycott this."

MacDonald decided to act on the issue after the IWK Health Centre recently halted operations for one day. He said it was unacceptable and figures offering arbitration as a way to solve contractual issues should prevent a strike from happening again.

However, Local 2525 president Karen Mackenzie said that in the fall when her union was threatening to strike, there was a plan in place to continue to provide emergency service.

"The health care of any Nova Scotian wouldnt have been jeopardized," she said. "Theres no way any health care worker in this province is going to jeopardize the health of Nova Scotians."

Mackenzie said health care workers need the right to strike as a negotiating strategy, and without it they lose a lot of power.

"Without the right to strike, we never would have been able to force the provincial government to take their hands off our pension plan," she said, referring to the fall negotiations. "Its the only way to have the government bargain with us seriously."

Mackenzie fears that with the stranglehold the government could have over the health care workers, theyll lose employees in the field and have a hard time bring new ones in.

"The health care workers in this province are few and far between now," she said. "If you keep hitting them, then were not going to have any."

Mackenzie said this decision by the premier is a publicity stunt and hes trying to make the public think the entire health care system would be shut down, without emergency care, in the event of a strike.

"There wouldnt be a health care worker out on the street if somebody needed them. Not one," she said. "The health care workers are there for Nova Scotians and were not going to see anybody not get proper health care."



jdickie@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Canadian Union, Public Employees Local 2525, IWK Health Centre

Geographic location: Nova Scotians

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